Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on many different components, such as a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are generally robust and reliable, it’s not uncommon for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is awry. One such sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be linked to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is an often reported air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the interior air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan is designed to capture and funnel the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes clogged or damaged, water can accumulate in the pan, resulting in a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool underneath. If the dripping noise becomes a nuisance, identify the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is plugged and should be cleared. A float switch should automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and causes water damage, but the float switch could always break. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll have to correct the drain pan issue before your unit will function normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or use water. What this means is your AC should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it might indicate the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can take place for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter choked with dust, dirt and other particles limits airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get below freezing, which then freezes the condensate collected on the coil.
- Low refrigerant level: Chilled refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it goes through the evaporator coil. If the network is undercharged or leaky and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to develop on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grease may coat a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant inside of it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might cause the air conditioner to run continuously, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Continuously running an air conditioner can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower issues: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or running at a low speed, the low level of airflow may freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a vital element of the cooling process. If a leak forms or air comes to be stuck in the refrigerant line, you can hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, your system could very well gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs to a professional who can ensure the proper refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could indicate one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the site and severity of a refrigerant leak, it may produce more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- An issue with with the compressor: The compressor located in the outside condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it moves through the air conditioner. This part of the system may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that controls refrigerant circulation through the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound similar to running water from your air conditioner, take steps to identify and address the cause to avoid further damage. [companyname] can diagnose and fix any issue causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a plugged drain line or a frozen evaporator coil. Every single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or set up a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].